A DNA barcode for land plants Academic Article


  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


  • DNA barcoding involves sequencing a standard region of DNA as a tool for species identification. However, there has been no agreement on which region(s) should be used for barcoding land plants. To provide a community recommendation on a standard plant barcode, we have compared the performance of 7 leading candidate plastid DNA regions (atpF-atpH spacer, matK gene, rbcL gene, rpoB gene, rpoC1 gene, psbK-psbI spacer, and trnH-psbA spacer). Based on assessments of recoverability, sequence quality, and levels of species discrimination, we recommend the 2-locus combination of rbcL+matK as the plant barcode. This core 2-locus barcode will provide a universal framework for the routine use of DNA sequence data to identify specimens and contribute toward the discovery of overlooked species of land plants.


publication date

  • 2009-8-4


  • 106


  • DNA
  • Embryophyta
  • Genes
  • Plastids

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

number of pages

  • 4

start page

  • 12794

end page

  • 12797